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Summer Library Program: FAQ & Planning Calendar

This guide covers everything you need to plan, promote, and execute your summer library program for all ages!

CSLP Upcoming Themes

2021: Tails and Tales

Few children’s illustrators are as uniquely suited to an animals themed program as Salina Yoon. Picture her work with ducks, penguins, and porcupines! Are you excited yet? It is quite possible that new levels of adorableness will be discovered in 2021.

Summer is Year Round! Planning Calendar

Summer is Year Round!

Planning Calendar and Member Library Checklist


Our summer program year begins and ends with the statistics collection for the current year and the materials order for the next year.

Summer Programming requires year-round planning and deadlines. Download these documents for use in your library.


Frequently Asked Questions

Paper Materials & Statistics:

How do I order summer paper materials?
Beginning in summer 2020, libraries will receive a voucher to order materials when they submit their statistics to MLS.

What materials do I get with the voucher?
You may order any materials from the catalog of the chosen vendor for the statewide summer program. Be sure to order a manual with the artwork if you would like one. Anything over your voucher amount will need to be paid by your library.

Do I need to pay for shipping?
You may use your voucher to cover shipping costs.

What kind of statistics do you need at the end of the summer?
If you are the designated summer contact for your library you will be emailed a link to an online statistics and order form near the end of summer. On this form you will provide your summer program statistics and order materials for the following summer.

We ask for:

  • Number of participants: both online and paper
  • Number of programs and their attendance (Programs include both performer and library type of programs)
  • Age ranges we ask for include: children, teens, adults, and all-ages (multigenerational)

All libraries that participate in the statewide summer program are REQUIRED to submit stats to MLS.

Can you clarify what we need to count for programs and attendance?

We ask for the number of “performance and library hosted programs (storytimes, craft programs, etc)” for Children, Teen, Adult, and All-Ages. The next question is usually the attendance figure. We are asking for the total attendance at each of those age ranges. So for a program intended for children, you would count everyone who attended, including adults, teens, and children. If your program is aimed at families or considered "multigenerational" you may now add a figure for "all-ages". Attendance or participation in remote, passive, or virtual programs should also be counted. Just do your best, the numbers won't ever be perfect. The idea is to give a "snapshot" of how busy libraries are over the summer!

What if I am at a branch library?
You will need to bundle your stats and order with the main branch. We also ask for one summer library program contact person who will be responsible for disseminating summer information and materials amongst all branches.

Artwork, Copyright & Credit Lines:

Do we really have to follow the CSLP Rules of Use?
Yes! Due to copyright and contractual arrangements between CSLP, the exclusive vendor, and the artists, CSLP members are expected to be aware of the rules of use. The best practice is to check the CSLP Rules of Use and check for changes and updates.

I need to do my publicity brochures! Where is the clip art?
Clip art images are in the manual. There is clip art with the copyright embedded for online use and we encourage you to use those images for posting to social media and for use on your website. Please review and use the CSLP Rules of Use.

Is it OK to edit/alter the CSLP artwork—such as changing the colors or adding color to the line art or Photoshopping a piece of art to remove part of it or to add a new element to it?
No, it is not acceptable to alter (other than resizing) the CSLP artwork. The Rules of Use say you may not alter/manipulate CSLP artwork in any manner that changes its original appearance.

Is there a credit line we need to use on our publicity materials recognizing the Massachusetts Library System and other organizations? 
We have the wording for the credit lines on the Summer Library Program Guide.

Do I have to credit the Bruins?
Yes, you do have to credit our statewide sponsor, the Boston Bruins. The Bruins pay for promotional materials, provide prizes awarded statewide, offer incentives and programs for participating libraries, and promote the statewide summer library program. Without their support, MLS would not be able to provide program basics at no cost to libraries. Our partnership with the Bruins has also elevated our program’s visibility throughout the state and beyond.

If we just use the slogan, but none of graphics, do we still need to add the credit line?
Yes. MLS has paid for your membership to CSLP, which in turn created the program and theme for you to use. 

If your question hasn’t been answered here, please check out the rest of the Summer Library Program Guide! If you can’t find the answer there, then email April Mazza, MLS Consultant and CSLP State Representative.